Columbia Valley to decide how to spend $200K annually
The Columbia Valley, from Spillimacheen to Canal Flats, will receive $200,000 a year for three years from CBT, which it will use to fund valley-wide priorities. The funds will be administered through the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK).
This is a new way for CBT to deliver funds within the Basin. The goal is to put decision making into the hands of sub-regions, or groupings of communities, where they can be more strategic and think longer-term, allocating funds where they will be most effective.
"We're pleased the residents of the Columbia Valley are ready to work in this way," said Garry Merkel, CBT Board Chair. "We've been talking to communities over the years about ways to support communities to make their own decisions about their priorities. This is not new funding; it is another way to access existing funds that will support people across community boundaries to work together to shape their futures."
"We now have a committee consisting of elected RDEK directors and community members from the Columbia Valley, coordinating the planning for the use of these funds," said Wendy Booth, Chair of the Columbia Valley Community Directed Funds Committee and RDEK Electoral Area F Director. "After comprehensive consultation to set valley-wide priorities, we will be allocating funds to appropriate projects. It's a great opportunity to work collaboratively toward common goals for the valley."
CBT is also looking at implementing this approach elsewhere in the Basin, based on interest and the readiness of groups of communities to work together. Although this is the first time CBT is implementing this method with sub-regions, it has supported communities of interest (groups bound by similar work) for years through organizations like the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, which funds arts, culture and heritage projects. Another example is a three-year initiative with the Kootenay Livestock Association, which funds projects that improve grasslands and rangelands in the Basin.
Anyone interested in this new approach can find out more by contacting the local CBT community liaison (www.cbt.org/contact or 1.800.505.8998).